A DFO biologist at a fish farm in the Okisollo Channel, northeast of Quadra Island, on Oct. 31, 2018. File photo

Ottawa won’t appeal Federal Court ruling on farmed salmon virus

Review of piscine orthoreovirus policy ongoing, says DFO

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) says it won’t appeal a recent Federal Court decision on piscine orthoreovirus, or PRV.

In early February, Justice Cecily Strickland overturned a DFO policy that allows for the transfer of juvenile Atlantic salmon into open-net fish farms without screening for the virus. The court also ruled that DFO had breached its duty to consult ‘Namgis First Nation about PRV policy.

This followed lawsuits by ‘Namgis First Nation and Alexandra Morton, a marine biologist and outspoken industry critic.

READ MORE: Alexandra Morton, ‘Namgis First Nation win Federal Court ruling

In a statement released on Tuesday night, DFO said the government had completed its review of the ruling and “will not be appealing.”

The court found DFO’s threshold for harm to wild salmon was too high and that its policy didn’t comply with the precautionary principle. It gave DFO four months to review its PRV policy.

READ MORE: Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

That review is ongoing, and its results “will be communicated publicly in spring 2019,” according to the March 12 statement.

DFO stressed that the Federal Court “did not order DFO to test for PRV” before transferring smolts into fish farms or releasing them into the wild.

READ MORE: Dissenter says effects of fish farm virus ‘extremely uncertain’

The statement also noted the court “did not make any decision or statement concerning whether the failure to test for PRV in hatchery smolts poses a risk to wild salmon.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Family of transplant donor gives gift of popcorn at Cowichan hospital

“a really powerful part of our healing process.”

Andrea Rondeau column: The opioid, homelessness crises are on our doorstep

They had used three naloxone kits in three weeks to treat random people they’d found overdosing

Bantam Bulldogs mauled by Bears in provincial final

Cowichan’s first loss comes in championship game

Sarah Simpson Column: There’s no wrong gift if it comes from the heart

Angel Tree program a way for the non-profit to collect new clothing and toys for children in need

Inspired 49ers get past Saanich

Cowichan masters rally after midfielder’s red card

VIDEO: ‘Holiday Magic’ when Celtic Rhythms and Summit Dance joined forces in Duncan

Fun and frolic combined with more serious selections to make a satisfying evening for everyone

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Most Read